Beach volleyball worlds: Rising Canadians unleash on the Netherlands
Photo: Heather Bansley Instagram
In grand style the ‘drawing of lots’ for this year’s beach volleyball worlds were held at the Mauritshuis art museum in The Hague, on March 30.
Curiously, three Canadian women’s teams were all seeded well below 20th for the event. Pulling a maple leaf meant placing a future also-ran in a pool with an American, German, or Brazilian powerhouse.
The draw sorts 48 teams for each gender into 12 pools and is held precisely 90 days before the tournament which begins in Holland this Friday, running until July 5th.
Oh, what dramatic change three months may bring.
While this weekend’s seeds were determined way back then based on another calculation, here’s how it looks now:
22nd-seeded Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan – 2nd-ranked on FIVB World Tour
29th-seeded Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas – 3rd-ranked on FIVB World Tour
24th-seeded Melissa Humana-Paredes and Taylor Pischke – 14th-ranked on FIVB World Tour
It’s yet another illustration of an astonishing break-out season for Canadian beach volleyball teams. Another: the women have their first four Tour medals in Canadian history, in the first two months of this season.
For the men, it’s less startling but also noteworthy:
17th-seeded Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk – 12th-ranked on FIVB World Tour
21st-seeded Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter – 6th-ranked on FIVB World Tour
It’s a long Tour season, and things could change, but for now it’s something to watch as five Canadian teams jump into the biggest tournament on the schedule. There will be up to eight rounds from pool play to championship game. The cities of The Hague, Amsterdam, Apeldoorn, and Rotterdam make up a tour of Holland drivable in four hours according to Google Maps (who knows what that really means). Winning limits travel but all final games will take place in The Hague. Full schedule.